Cicero-North Syracuse High School welcomed back several distinguished alumni Friday night for its Wall of Distinction induction ceremony. Six graduates of the district were added to the wall, which is designed to commemorate the achievements of alumni and to inspire current students to achieve their dreams.
The Wall of Distinction first came to be in 1990 when former Star-News editor Maria Forestaro and C-NS teacher William Brown decided they wanted to honor former students.
"We immediately decided we didn't want a traditional Wall of Fame," Brown said. "We decided a Wall of Distinction would better describe our students, because distinction is so much more than fame."
Brown said the wall is a source of pride for the district.
"This wall sells what the North Syracuse school district is all about," he said. "And we've only begun to scratch the surface."
The wall is home to plaques commemorating over 75 graduates of Cicero, North Syracuse and C-NS high schools. Previous inductees include Richard Gere, Roger Burdick, Chet Dudzinski and Michael Bragman.
"I'm really excited about this year's group," Superintendent Jerome Melvin said. "They're a really gifted group."
The inductees for 2007 are:
Lynn A. Calpeter, the executive vice president and chief financial officer for NBC Universal, is a graduate of Cornell University with degrees in business management and economics. Calpeter previously worked for General Electric Corporation as a vice president in the corporate audit department. She has participated in numerous community service activities benefiting organizations such as Habitat for Humanity in New York City, NYC Public School of Harlem, The Audubon Society of Massachusetts and The Children's Place in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In 2003, Calpeter was awarded the GE Chairman's Award and donated her $25,000 award to the Elizabeth Freeman Center for Abused Women in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Calpeter said she had watched the Academy Awards last Sunday looking for inspiration in her speech but heard little that would be fitting.